The tight deep carbonate reservoirs of Oxfordian age in North Kuwait consist of tight limestone interbedded with organic rich shale layers. The overall matrix porosity is generally very low and the production is mainly from fractures in the crestal part of main structures. Borehole images are routinely acquired in vertical to moderately deviated wells drilled with oil-base mud for fracture characterization.
For detailed fracture property evaluation, a highly deviated pilot hole was drilled with water-base potassium formate mud for the first time across the reservoir section and drill-pipe conveyed high-resolution electrical borehole image data was acquired. The upper half of the interpreted interval showed potential open fractures sets, NE-SW striking fracture set was most abundant. An advanced fracture segment extraction workflow was used to determine porosity and aperture of different fracture sets.
The first horizontal well was then drilled as a lateral in the target reservoir with oil-base mud restricting direct computation of fracture properties. The electrical and acoustic images in OBM indicated fracture concentrations at quite a few places along the horizontal well trajectory, the most conspicuous occurring at the zones where heavy mud losses were encountered while drilling. A 2D litho-structural model was constructed along the well trajectories using the dip data and open-hole logs to correlate finer carbonate and organic shale layers and fracture distribution across the layers. This workflow permitted extending fracture properties along horizontal well as well.
Finally, a high-resolution 3D structural model was constructed using outputs from previous workflows and data from two nearby vertical / less deviated wells. The final model showed a folded structure, which was absent in the existing model of the field. Thus the innovative workflow provides a means to generate an accurate structural and fracture model for the reservoir, integrating the fracture characteristics of the individual sub-layers with the main fracture corridors.